-- When Preeti Moberg became pregnant, she knew she didn’t want the typical, run-of-the-mill maternity shoot that often floods her Facebook feed.
“Most photos are really pretty and whimsical, but I wanted to do something that wasn’t really pedestrian,” Moberg, 34, told ABC News. “I wanted something that’s very me.”
Moberg, who is Indian and lives in Oakland, Calif., wanted to celebrate her culture with an unconventional maternity shoot “that showed the glitter and culture of India, but also a photo shoot that was more than the classical whimsical,” she explained on her website.
But when it came time to execute her vision, she was shocked by the lack of inspiration she could find online by other Indian mothers doing something similar.
“I wanted something so different and truly inspirational for others around in our community,” she said. “It really even pushes our own buttons. Our culture doesn’t really show our bellies when we’re pregnant. If it pushes buttons and inspires people, then that’s great.”
As a professional wedding blogger, the expectant mother is constantly surrounded by excellent vendors who could help pull off her beautiful vision, so she enlisted their expertise in areas from photography to henna, flowers and makeup and hair to capture the beauty of Indian pregnancy.
“The last time you took professional photos was at your wedding and this time you’re having a baby,” Moberg explained. “This is a great opportunity for my husband and me to get dressed up and get some great photos, but it’s still all about the baby.”
The majestic photo shoot took the entire day, with the henna alone taking about four to five hours to apply several days before.
The photographer, Shhivika Chauhan, was also excited for the challenge to shoot her first-ever Indian-themed maternity session.
“I urge all the amazing mommies-to-be out there to try out concept shoots for their maternity session,” she said. “It doesn't have to be this elaborate, but something unique and personal that would allow them to create photos they will cherish.”
Moberg definitely got her fair share of cherished photos, and is encouraging other expectant women to be bold and take a risk with their maternity shoots.
“We all go through these nine months of pregnancy, so let’s really celebrate it for ourselves,” she said. “Pamper yourself. Do what you want to do. It’s OK to take out these beautiful clothes and put them to good use.”
Moberg’s son, Arjun Moberg, was born almost exactly a month after the photo shoot occurred.
“He’s such a happy camper. He just loves observing the world,” said the proud mom. “I’m so excited to have the new life we have together.”